Nov 26, 2012

Pattern – the mother of all designs

Everybody can make his or her own pattern using the simplest of software like a Photoshop Elements. You draw a line-shape on paper, scan it, open your Photoshop, rotate it, say 45 degree left, to make two different shapes, add color to the enclosed areas, duplicate your two colored shapes, and finally arrange them to fill out the space. Now you have created your own unique pattern.

For famous patterns, in Hong Kong, one does not need to go all the way to mention Andy Warhol’s repeating Marilyn Monroe or Campbell Soup. Calligraphy graffiti by late self-proclaimed “King of Kowloon” Mr. Tsang Tsou Cho made his famous patterns around the city for years, and the one in Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier is now protected as monumental. His first major commercial recognition came when Sotheby's auctioned a board, painted by Tsang, for HK$55,000 on October 31, 2004. Pattern is for everybody.

We see patterns every day when we open our eyes in the morning, our pillow, bed sheets, our wall papers and our pajama. It is the key element in fashion design, in some product design, in our environmental decoration. Many fashion apparels are chosen just because of the more attractive pattern of their fabrics. Kids select their own snowboards and helmets by comparing different patterns. In a cosmopolitan city like Hong Kong, hoardings in construction works, in particular those of shopping arcades, are oftentimes decorated with attractive patterns, making an otherwise unsightly site looks interesting, and any inconvenience to the pedestrians made more bearable. Pattern is the mother of all designs.

Designers give us many patterns, nature gives us more. The black and gold spotted coat of a leopard makes her sexy, whereas the two black patches surrounding her eyes make the giant panda lovely. The variety of multicolored patterns of marine lives in coral reefs is a major reason behind an average citizen's effort towards their conservation, and motivated many to spend a day or two taking a short experience scuba diving course for a closer encounter with those colorful living patterns.

I love interpreting nature’s patterns in many of my jewelry designs. For example in my rose-buds ring below, I built a pattern out of a rose bud and its twig.

Sabina Lee - Rose buds ring

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